By RICHIE MURRAY
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Following a year of renaissance with a new breed of drivers ascending to the top of the standings, the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship reloads for a 2018 schedule that includes 45 events between the months of February and November.
Leading off the schedule once again for the ninth-straight season is “Winter Dirt Games” at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park on February 15-16-17. The wintertime defroster begins a season that carries with it a number of tried and true tour staples including Eastern Storm and Indiana Sprint Week.
Eastern Storm expands to six races for the first time with annual Pennsylvania dates at Grandview (June 14), Williams Grove (June 15), Port Royal (June 16) and BAPS Motor Speedway (June 17). Furthermore, for the initial time, three different states will be represented in Eastern Storm with the 12th edition entering first-time USAC venues in New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway on June 18 and New York’s Weedsport Speedway on June 19.
The 31st running of Indiana Sprint Week begins July 20 at a yet-to-be-announced venue, followed by six more events throughout the Hoosier state as the trail hits midsummer: Kokomo (July 21), Lawrenceburg (July 22), Terre Haute (July 25), Lincoln Park (July 26), Bloomington (July 27) and Tri-State (July 28).
A slew of benchmark Indiana tracks dot the landscape throughout the season in addition to its July “Indiana Sprint Week” slots. Kokomo Speedway’s non-points, special event #GYATK Night on August 22 leads into three nights of “Sprint Car Smackdown” on August 23-24-25. The famed Terre Haute Action Track welcomes the series to the fast and racy Wabash Valley Fairgrounds dirt oval for the 48th running of the “Tony Hulman Classic” on May 23, the “Jim Hurtubise Classic” on September 14 and the newly-christened “Wabash Clash” on October 12.
Lawrenceburg opens the Midwest portion of the season with its traditional Springtime welcome on March 31 and closes out the month of September with the “Fall Nationals” on September 29. Bloomington’s April 27 race begins the first doubleheader USAC Sprint weekend of the season, followed by Tri-State Speedway’s “Spring Showdown” on April 28 in Haubstadt, Indiana and co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series. USAC and MSCS collaborate once again at Tri-State on September 15th’s “Haubstadt Hustler.” Just prior to “Indiana Sprint Week,” competitors tackle their last tune-up before the commencing of “Indiana Sprint Week” in the Bill Gardner Sprintacular on July 6.
Two additions to the schedule over the past couple seasons, Montpelier Motor Speedway and Plymouth Speedway, serve up an enticing dose of USAC Sprint Car action on April 21 and May 5, respectively.
The famed half-mile Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio will host three USAC Sprint Car appearances in 2018 with two consecutive nights at #LetsRaceTwo with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars on May 11-12 and the 37th “4-Crown Nationals” on September 22.
Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois returns to the USAC Sprint Car fold for the first time since 2006 on May 18. Just across the Mississippi River one night later on May 19, Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri is back as a first-time USAC venue after last year’s wash out.
The series ventures to the Cornhusker state on June 8 for its second stop in as many years at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska on June 8 before heading to the legendary Knoxville Raceway in Iowa on June 9. Making its return for the first time in 12 years is Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Missouri on October 5, which kicks off a double-header weekend in the Heartland that concludes with a trip to the half-mile Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas on October 6.
As the frigid temps converge on much of the country in the month of November, the series migrates west for warmer climes as well as two of the most-renowned races in the country: the 51st “Western World Championships” at Arizona Speedway on November 2-3 and the 23rd annual “Oval Nationals” on November 8-9-10 at Perris Auto Speedway in southern California.
2018 USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Feb 15: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL)
Feb 16: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL)
Feb 17: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL)
Mar 31: Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Apr 21: Montpelier Motor Speedway (Montpelier, IN)
Apr 27: Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, IN)
Apr 28: (M) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)
May 5: Plymouth Speedway (Plymouth, IN)
May 11: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
May 12: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
May 18: Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
May 19: Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
May 23: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Jun 8: I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, NE)
Jun 9: Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Jun 14: (E) Grandview Speedway (Bechtelsville, PA)
Jun 15: (E) Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jun 16: (E) Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Jun 17: (E) BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Jun 18: (E) Bridgeport Speedway (Swedesboro, NJ)
Jun 19: (E) Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)
Jul 6: Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, IN)
Jul 20: (i) 31st Indiana Sprint Week Opener
Jul 21: (i) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Jul 22: (i) Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Jul 25: (i) Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Jul 26: (i) Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, IN)
Jul 27: (i) Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, IN)
Jul 28: (i) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)
Aug 22: (SE) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Aug 23: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Aug 24: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Aug 25: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Sep 14: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Sep 15: (M) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)
Sep 22: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Sep 29: Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Oct 5: Lake Ozark Speedway (Eldon, MO)
Oct 6: Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Oct 12: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Nov 2: (C) Arizona Speedway (San Tan Valley, AZ)
Nov 3: (C) Arizona Speedway (San Tan Valley, AZ)
Nov 8: (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov 9: (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov 10: (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
(M) represents an event co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series.
(E) represents an Eastern Storm event.
(i) represents an Indiana Sprint Week event.
(SE) represents a non-points special event.
(C) represents an event with the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars.